WORDS BY ASHLEIGH GRIBBON
Known around the world for its unrivaled edit of rare and hard-to-source designer vintage bags, from the likes of Hermès, Fendi and Dior, Amore boutique is a one-stop destination for collectors of fashion’s most iconic designs. Join DJ and designer Alisa Ueno on a tour of the legendary Japanese store, as Amore manager Shinoko Itakura points out some of the highlights — including a 150-year-old Louis Vuitton trunk and three ultra-rare Kelly Doll bags from Hermès. Watch the video and shop Amore’s key pieces on FARFETCH.
Alisa Ueno finds a 150-year-old Louis Vuitton trunk at Amore Vintage
Amore’s highlights: boutique manager Shinoko Itakura on the store’s unrivaled pre-owned bag collection
What makes a handbag iconic and what are some of your most-wanted styles right now?
An iconic bag is classic and timeless — it’s a style that you won't get tired of gazing at. Right now, Chanel’s Diana 2.55 bag with mademoiselle lock, the Hermès Kelly bag in sizes 15 and 20 and the Saddle bag by John Galliano for Dior are some of our most popular styles. For someone looking to invest in their first iconic handbag, I would recommend Chanel's Classic Flap bag, the Mamma Baguette from Fendi or Dior's now-iconic Saddle Bag.
Do the preferences and tastes of your clients change from season to season?
For timeless styles such as Chanel's Classic Flap and the Kelly and Birkin bags from Hermès, tastes don't tend to change much. However preferences for other designs can change each season — a lot of customers are influenced by the latest collections and search for the original vintage pieces of reissued designs. We think the vintage industry has the greatest charm and will always be a source of inspiration.
Are your customers looking for pieces that are unique or easy to recognize?
It's quite divided, to be honest — customers who are purchasing their first vintage bag tend to choose styles that are iconic and recognizable, while Amore’s regular clients, who have a huge collection of vintage pieces, tend to go for rare, hard-to-find bags that were used in specific collections or runway shows.
What are some of the key decades for iconic designs and can you advise on the key things to consider when shopping for a vintage bag?
The 1980s and 1990s were definitely key decades, as most of our pieces were produced during that time — the Classic Flap by Karl Lagerfeld was from the 1980s, the Lady Dior from 1994, the Fendi baguette from 1997 and the Dior saddle from 1999.
It can be quite risky to buy a bag just by looking at its exterior. There are a lot of pieces that have stickiness, scuffs and torn parts inside that make them impossible to reuse. It’s possible it can be repaired if you send it to a brand like Chanel or Hermès’ established repair centre, but since most vintage designs are no longer produced, there’s also a possibility they will decline it.
Amore is a treasure trove of iconic pieces — what is the most coveted bag in your boutique?
The Single Flap bag, later called the Diana, as the late Princess Diana used this Chanel bag quite often. A lot of our customers are in search of the small Diana finished in a colored leather.
How do you source your pieces and what criteria do you follow?
We have personal buyers who only select pieces that are in good condition. After collecting the bag, we do a full inspection at our office and pass it on to our specialists. They do a final check of every detail and pick the ones we will display in the store.